Seems like this is a thing to do on here, so I'll join in with it. If you want to read my REAL blog full of weekly religious criticism, visit http://1sthorseman.wordpress.com/.

So anyway, my name is Robert Kangas. I was born in 1992 in Vaasa, which is located in the Bible-belt of Finland. Vaasa though is the largest city in the Bible-belt, and thus is pretty secular compared to rural areas. Both my parents are non-religious, but I did grow up with Christian faith. Don't ask me why, I'm still quite uncertain about that. I think it all started when my parents for some reason put me in a day-care run by the Lutheran church, which is the national church of Finland. It was heavily Christian, not really giving space for individual development. Then when I later went to school and learned more about religion, I somehow felt obliged to do God's bidding, since none of the other kids seemed willing to do it. I felt special in God's eyes. I was never the most popular kid either, so naturally God was a good substitute for friends.

My parents never interfered with my faith. They have always been the kind of people that have wanted me to do whatever makes me happy, as long as it's not illegal. But I think they knew I would grow out of my beliefs at some point, because I was very inquisitive my whole childhood. My mom has told me I once confronted her and asked that if Adam and Eve where the first and only people on earth, that would have to mean their children had to have children with each other. She had stated that that was the only logical conclusion if that was the case, and that my face had had a priceless expression of disgust upon hearing her confirming my assertion.

I was Christian for a big part of my youth. I don't really remember what I thought about the whole evolution vs. creation thing. I don't think I spent time thinking about it. I never reject one or the other possibility, since I didn't think that our origin was of matter. But once I went to high-school I learned about the mechanics of evolution, and scrapped creation as a possibility. So at 17-years-old I became a very liberal Christian, even writing a letter to the church about why homosexuals should be allowed to get married. (On a side note, if you want to see my impressive case for equal marriage I made in a speech in my later atheist days, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNmj6y-gStk)

I would say I was pretty atheist by the time I was 18, but I still had the occasional feelings of remorse if I did something wrong (like being dishonest or having premarital sex). It wasn't until I started reading more into religion and atheism that I became completely convinced of there being no god.

Now I am 21-years-old, studying comparative religion and theology, which might at first seem odd, but really isn't such a big deal in Finland. Critics of religion are always in turn criticized for not knowing anything about theology, but still trying to bash it. (Like critics of evolution would actually now anything about evolution...). But here I am. I am an antitheist, and I know about religion and theology. Bring it on!

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Comment by John Aultman on August 22, 2013 at 7:30am

welcome Robert

Comment by Michael Penn on August 21, 2013 at 6:42am

Thanks for joining, Robert. There is nothing like a good study of religion to end up making you think atheist. I'm 67 and was training for the ministry earlier in life, only to realize that I'm atheist a year ago.

For anyone who reverts back into the idiocy of "faith" you can always use 2 "facts" the believers throw at you constantly.

"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it."

"God works in mysterious ways."

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on August 20, 2013 at 7:35pm

Robert, I have noticed that about mormons. However, I doubt that they are any more convinced than any orthodox adherents. But yeah, they have this strange sense of truth, we got the scoop attitude.

Comment by Robert Kangas on August 20, 2013 at 5:34pm

One thing I noticed when spending time with the Mormons was that they were more convinced about the truth of their religion than people of other faiths. Of course every faith has people who are 100% certain their dogma is infallible, but when it comes to Mormons every single one I met were very much certain that their beliefs were true. It was interesting to see how almost every chance they got asserted to themselves and the people around them "And I know that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ, restored by Joseph Smith." It was almost like a mantra, a way of self-brainwashing, to repeat it over and over to make sure that no doubt about it could slip through. As a Christian when I visited a monastery, I met a nun who taught me that doubt is part of faith, and therefore I've always felt kind of creeped out when it comes to people who are too adamant in their faith.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on August 20, 2013 at 11:31am

Interesting read Robert.

In spite of what many here on A/N think, argumentation with theists can result in deconversion. Sometimes it requires a gentle touch and other times a "militant" approach. 

Do you think there is something fundamentally amiss about mormonism which is unique to it and not present in christianity, hinduism, judaism or islam?

Comment by Daniel W on August 20, 2013 at 9:05am

Thank you for joining.  You have thoughtful posts on your blog.

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